Drums were beating and flags were flying in Orwell on Sunday morning. Hundreds gathered for a two-day celebration that marks the towns 250th birthday.
"A lot of people have come back to celebrate the day. Everyone has just been happy -- it's just been wonderful," said Sharon Pinsonneault of Orwell.
Organizer Ted Simmons says they have been planning the weekend of events for nearly two years, and that with so much to celebrate, they decided to split the festivities in half. "We split it up into two days, and yesterday, the 17th, was a family events type of deal where there was pony rides, a bounce house, face painting."
The town was chartered on August 18th, 1763, which makes Sunday exactly 250 years -- a day that Simmons says should be dedicated to Orwell's rich history. Speeches were given by longtime residents and even Vermont's former Governor, Jim Douglas.
And for those residents looking to create their own piece of history, a time capsule will mark the occasion. Locals were asked to bring keepsakes and the capsule will be buried on the town green. Organizers say it will remain there for at least 50 years. For Simmons, his favorite part about the weekend was simply getting people together. "I get a lot of enjoyment out of seeing neighbors and people get together and having a meal and enjoying each others company," he said.
Orwell is among dozens of towns celebrating 250 years, but the fundraiser for this event was unique. "It's an outhouse -- and people could say I want it on my neighbors lawn, and then they donated $10 and then it miraculously showed up on their neighbors lawn," said Matt Barnes, an event organizer.
For months residents could pay $25 to keep the brightly painted porta-potty off their lawn or pay 10 bucks to prank a neighbor. Barnes says the traveling outhouse raised $500 -- all in good fun.
"I wish we had something like this a little more often. This is like the third whole town celebration that I remember in about forty years -- and they all have been wonderful. I wish it could be a tradition," Sharon Pinsonneault said.
The festivities Sunday also included a medal presentation to Orwell Vietnam veterans.
Friday, December 6 2013 8:02 AM EST2013-12-06 13:02:46 GMT
Police are looking for a Burlington man who may be behind a robbery back in November. Police say three armed men targeted the home on Summit Street the night of November 18 and took property out by force.More >>
Police are looking for a Burlington man who may be behind a robbery back in November.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 7:24 AM EST2013-12-06 12:24:22 GMT
Vermont state employees will be getting paid more. The State Employees' Association say workers will see 2.5 percent pay increased each of the next two years. The tentative deal also calls for increasedMore >>
Vermont state employees will be getting paid more.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:31 AM EST2013-12-06 11:31:48 GMT
A welfare check turned into a dangerous situation in Brattleboro. Officers were called to Valley Street Thursday to check on a 39-year-old woman. While on the scene, police say the woman grabbed a largeMore >>
A welfare check turned into a dangerous situation in Brattleboro.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:28 AM EST2013-12-06 11:28:49 GMT
A plea deal may be in the works for the man who police say torched a Burlington bell tower. The College Street Congregational Church was badly damaged back in October by a fire investigators say was arson.More >>
A plea deal may be in the works for the man who police say torched a Burlington bell tower.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:22 AM EST2013-12-06 11:22:45 GMT
A Vermont family is homeless after fire destroyed their Concord home. Officials say the fire broke out Thursday afternoon on Ladd Road just before 4 p.m. By the time fire crews arrived on the scene theMore >>
A Vermont family is homeless after fire destroyed their Concord home. More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:14 AM EST2013-12-06 11:14:08 GMT
Dozens of Vermont nurses are headed to the Philippines to help victims of a deadly storm. Last month, a typhoon tore across the eastern Philippines, killing thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands. TheMore >>
Dozens of Vermont nurses are headed to the Philippines to help victims of a deadly storm.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:09 AM EST2013-12-06 11:09:59 GMT
For years, Vermonters have described their favorite maple syrup with a letter grade or as Vermont Fancy. But beginning next year, those grading rules will change. Producers will begin labeling VermontMore >>
New regulations coming next year will change the way you shop for syrup in Vermont.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:03 AM EST2013-12-06 11:03:14 GMT
Prosecutors are calling for stiffer probation penalties for a Vermont publisher who swindled retirees out of their life savings. Last April Peter Campbell-Copp pleaded guilty to more than a dozen felonyMore >>
Prosecutors are calling for stiffer probation penalties for a Vermont publisher who swindled retirees out of their life savings.More >>